10 December 2019, Tuesday, 14:00
The Wait Is Nearly Over

Authorities Tease Belarusians Again

Authorities Tease Belarusians Again

People criticize the government for the separation from life and for the blatant desire to take all the money.

In February 2017, Homel hosted one of the most mass actions against the decree #3 "On social parasitism."

The action was attended by about 3 thousand people. The city and police leadership silently watched over the populous procession, which stretched into the column with white-red-white flags and banners.

There was clearly readable confusion on their faces. The police, who are used to disperse the mass opposition rallies, did not mafiset themselves in any way. They were well aware that those 3 000 protesters were the vanguard of the discontented, the delegates from the entire half-a-million city.

If the security forces had dared to disperse that demonbstration, the whole Homel would have taken on to the streets the following day. After the Homel rally, a wave of similar protests flooded Belarus, and did not get down till the moratorium of the offensive parasitic decree.

However, few people remember how, on the eve of the Homel action, many bloggers have expressed skepticism about the potential for protest in Homel in the social networks. Famous writers and journalists predicted that the rally would gather a few hundred people at most. Basically, these opinions were expressed by Minsk authors who could not fully feel the mood of the inhabitants of Homel due to objective reasons.

I remember how on the eve of the “Non-Parasites March” the city on Sozh was buzzing like a beehive. Everyone discussed the unjust decree. You could hear about the future action from a neighbor, from a barber, from traders in the market, all in one day.

The diffusion of information showed that the protest would be massive and ideological. And so it happened. As a reporter, I wrote a few conclusions about the Homel “Non-Parasites March” shortly after it:

“1. People took to the streets due to the general discontent with the authorities. They recalled biased courts, abolishment of Chernobyl benefits, and contract system, and presente dclaims to the leadership of the Republic of Belarus. The Decree #3 was the last straw. It seems that the protest will increase if the government does not make concessions.

2. The protest against the Decree #3 covered all sectors of the population. Most of those with whom I had a chance to talk, have a job. However, they came out to the street due to their outrage with this serfdom decree, due to the feeling of solidarity with the “parasites”. At the end of 2018 the authorities announced the creation of a new database of parasites, where half a million of our compatriots got, those who allegedly did not participate in the financing of state expenditures. The state is trying to get into the pockets of its citizens through the utility bills. If a citizen is in the parasitic database, they will have to pay for the communal services several times more.

The mechanism for the implementation of the decree is so complicated that one can damage their brain trying to figure out how it works. Some analysts are already saying that the new version of the decree #3 was planned stillborn from the outset, so the authorities could save face and not to tease Belarusians again.

Although the second paragraph in fact has already failed, as Belarusians are very angry. Only yesterday, I witnessed several meaningful dialogues in the streets of Homel. People criticize the government for the separation from life and for the blatant desire to take all the money.

Mikola Bianko, Radio Racyja.